Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull

One of my projects for this year is to wrap up a book on my experiences covering mixed martial arts. I promise it’ll be a fun read. So I was happy to see SI’s terrific media reporter, Richard Deitsch, hosting a roundtable of MMA journalists. He got a good cross-section — people are very much “in” the UFC orbit (Heidi Fang, Ariel Helwani) and those who are “out” (Josh Gross). It’s a unique environment. I’ve never covered another sport that handed out copies of Playboy featuring an employee. I’ve rarely found athletes in other sports who’ll just chat, though that’s … Continue reading Covering MMA: Fascinating, frustrating, never dull

Important Olympic qualifying dates

Yes, I’m still planning to do Olympic projections this year. I’m switching to a different system, though, and the projections won’t be up until early summer. In preparing for that, I compiled a massive list of dates that will determine which Americans go to Rio to compete. That means I had to read every available “selection criteria” document, which is an easy way to get a headache. I don’t expect this post to go viral, but I figured it was worth sharing for Oly-philes. Enjoy. Feb. 7-14: Sailing, 49er/49erFX/Nacra World Championships (U.S. qual) Feb. 13: Track and field, USA marathon … Continue reading Important Olympic qualifying dates

Curling controversy swirls at nationals

I’ve been writing about U.S. Soccer’s efforts to cultivate elite play even if it means breaking up teamsĀ and long-established ways of organizing competition. Turns out there’s a similar story in curling. Part of the issue: The High Performance program, which takes top players and forms teams under a national-team staff. Another part of the issue: The World Championship berths at stake are decided by a convoluted points system that robs the national championship of some of its suspense. And so some people on the CurlingZone forums are a bit cynical about the big event going on in Jacksonville this week. … Continue reading Curling controversy swirls at nationals